Monday, 23 February 2015

My Review of the Canon 7D

I’ve been taking pictures with DSLR cameras for almost 8 years now and for the first few years I used a Canon 350D/400D which served me very well; it was a very good camera to learn with as it was a light compact camera with relatively good ISO settings and produced the results I needed. 4 years after that, I replaced it with the Canon 7D. I was drawn to the 7D for a couple of reasons including the price, ISO and Frames per Second.

I bought my Canon 7D in the Summer of 2011, I was really pleased with the camera, I had been looking around at other cameras like the 60D or the Canon 550D but I wanted to move up the camera ladder and upgrade to a more “professional” camera.

When I first used the 7D I was really excited, I had only used the 400D before that and I was really happy to see you could customize the buttons on the camera, to suit your style of shooting/holding the camera.

I was also so excited to use the video function on the camera, shooting in 24/25 fps at1080p and at 50fps at 720p, it took a while for me to understand the video controls as they aren’t as apparent as the photography controls.

The thing I love about this camera is the menu, this is the main reason I’ve stuck with Canon Camera. The menu system is so easy to use, everything is laid out periodically and is really easy to navigate around.

In addition to the 7D I bought the battery grip too which holds two batteries which is really useful for events or just everyday shooting but it’s really a necessity for when you’re shooting video as the video function eats up a lot of battery.

The only thing I dislike about the camera is the sound of the shutter – it’s so clunky and heavy sounding

Another reason why I upgraded from the XX0D range of cameras was that they aren’t weather sealed, and as a photographer I want to be able to capture images in all weathers and all environments and I love taking pictures at the beach so that’s something important for my photography.

Firstly with regards to the viewfinder, I think all DSLR cameras should have 100% viewfinders! I really don’t see the point in having anything under than being able to see the whole frame through your viewfinder.

The 400D had a 98% viewfinder and I was always having to step back an extra step because of this, I also trained my eye to see that way and to remember that it was cropped in the viewfinder but it would be okay when I looked at them on my computer.

When I first bought the camera I was adamant that I wouldn’t be using the live view on the camera because I didn’t like the idea of using the back of the screen to shoot images – and I guess I’m still the same when it comes to live view.

Having said that – I do use it, predominantly shooting landscapes when I’ve locked off my tripod and got my composition set up then I use the live view to focus especially if its really dark.

The memory card slot is spring loaded which is also a nice touch to the camera uses Compact Flash memory cards which I love because I upgraded from the 400D which also shoots with CF cards

The in built spirit level was a wonderful surprise – it has become a useful function I also use when setting up my compositions on my tripod when I want my horizon to be straight.

And finally, the only thing about the camera, which I don’t like, is the sound of the shutter – it’s so clunky and heavy sounding!!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

Well I guess it is that time of the year again, when flower and chocolate sales rise and love is in the air!

As you may know I've been battling the sinus infection that keeps on giving, ever since Shanice and I returned from Barcelona. And then just last week, I don't know what happened but I came down with a nasty cold/fever; I was really upset because I'd been cooking up some plans that I thought were going to knock her socks off, but now it was looking like I wouldn't be able to make those plans happen!

So anyway, the day before Valentine's Day, Shanice was coming up on the train but I was so sick I had to carry myself out of bed and run down the shops to pick up her flowers, I thought if my Plan A was out of the window I was gonna make my Plan B kick ass!

As soon as she arrived, (I know it sounds corny but) I immediately started to feel much better, she was such an angel over the weekend, she was so attentive and made sure I had everything I needed; drinks, food and tissues for my runny nose.

I must say, despite being flu-ey or whatever it was, it was by far the best Valentine's Day I've ever had, so as a way to say thank you I wanted to show my girlfriend just how much she means to me, so I mustered up the energy to put a shirt and tie on and set up the lights in the studio for a quick portrait session.

I think this was the cherry on the top for a perfect Valentine's Day, this was the third Valentine's we were spending together, and I feel this picture really portrays the feelings of love we share for each other and as a bonus, she loved the picture too!

I really enjoy photographing couple portrait sessions like this, even though I was using my remote for this one which makes it slightly harder to pose, I think the came out really well!

 Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed reading about the story behind the picture and I'll be posting more very very soon!

Did you take pictures for your Valentine's Day?
Why don't you share them in the comment section below!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Review of the Westcott 60” White Satin Umbrella with Removable Black Cover

First Impressions

The thing that most stands out is the size of the umbrella, I know it says 60” or 5ft but until you see it in person extended you don’t really think it’s gonna be that big.

The second thing is the weight, it’s quite a heavy umbrella

I’ll be using this as more of a reflective umbrella for shooting group portraits which I’ll be testing out at the weekend so will post some pictures to the blog.


The Black cover is attached at the end spikes of the umbrella spokes which on first glance looks quite fragile but hopefully it won’t break

The PVC Case is quite flimsy – but it’s a nice touch if they could come up with something stronger it would be better

After having used the umbrella a few times now I have to say the light reflected out of the umbrella is really soft and really aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
I love the catch lights in the eye.

The thing that worries me about this umbrella is the weight and how easy it can fall down – advice: always attach some weight to it especially when outdoors. 

Here are a couple of pictures comparing a bare flash with the light from the flash reflected from the umbrella.

More pictures to come using the umbrella, 

Question for you guys: Are there any other items you would like me to review??
I would love to have some feedback!